With the exception of water itself, herbal tea is the world's most popular beverage. Central to Asian populations as a drink, cultural tradition and health practice for centuries, herbal tea was introduced to the West during the 17th century. Since that time, herbal tea has expanded throughout the globe, becoming a part of everyday life for millions of people.
Many herbal teas, including green and black teas, consist of the plant leaves known as Camellia sinensis. Some herbal tea varieties, such as hibiscus or chamomile primarily feature their respective herbs and often lack traditional herbal tea leaves.
Hundreds of years prior to scientific confirmation of the wellness benefits of herbal tea, its health-enhancing effects were noted by many in Asia. Notably, Buddhist monks wrote about green herbal tea in ancient texts, documenting its benefits for mental focus and energy levels during marathon meditation sessions.**
Herbal teas are created in different ways and feature a range of beneficial compounds, according to their varieties. Regardless of their origins, however, most herbal tea varieties are abundant in oxidative-stress-fighting antioxidants.**
Among the most prevalent herbal tea varieties are:
Green tea: This renowned light herbal tea contains numerous polyphenols. Chief among these are catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been researched for its ability to neutralize damaging free radicals in the body. Studies have also indicated that green herbal tea benefits include encouraging optimal cardiovascular, immune and metabolic function.**
Black tea: Made from the same Camellia sinensis leaves as green tea, black herbal tea is fermented to achieve its signature dark and rich qualities. Research shows that black herbal tea has free-radical-battling antioxidants, including natural compounds called theaflavins, and may promote cardiovascular, digestive and bone health.**
White tea: Similar to green tea, white herbal tea is derived from the young leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant. The notably pale herbal tea contains catechins like its green counterpart, leading to antioxidant and antibacterial activity that helps to encourage circulatory wellness.**
Red tea: Also known as rooibos, red herbal tea is native to Africa and often served like black tea, with sweetener and milk, though it doesn't contain caffeine. As with other herbal teas, red tea is plentiful in natural phenols that have antioxidant properties.**
Oolong tea: A traditional Chinese herbal tea, oolong features considerable levels of antioxidant polyphenols and has been linked to ideal metabolic function. There are many different varieties of oolong herbal tea.**
Herbal teas represent an array of botanicals, with certain plants possessing specific benefits to different body systems and areas of health. Some of the most popular herbal teas blended for targeted wellness issues include:
Detox tea: Detox herbal teas help to cleanse the body of toxins and unwanted substances with a blend of botanicals such as licorice root, ginger and dandelion.**
Herbal Tea for sleep: These herbal tea blends feature plants that promote relaxation and restorative rest, including chamomile and licorice root.**
Digestive herbal tea: A healthy gastrointestinal tract is encouraged with these herbal teas, which frequently feature peppermint, licorice root and ginger.**
Herbal Tea Products
Herbal teas are sourced from the leaves of Camellia sinensis and/or other botanicals. Herbal teas are generally available as loose leaves or in tea bags. Some herbal teas naturally contain caffeine, but others do not or have been decaffeinated. Green tea is also offered as an extract in tablet, capsule or liquid form.
Herbal Tea Directions for Use
Seeking the advice of your physician is recommended before regularly consuming herbal teas for a specific health issue. There are no standard suggested doses for herbal teas; green tea extract is often sold in amounts between 100 mg to 500 mg.**
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